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Assessment of and Services for Substance-Abusing Women Offenders in Community and Correctional Settings

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 1995
17 pages
This article summarizes previous literature on the needs of substance-abusing women offenders and presents the main findings of a nationwide survey of community-based and corrections-based treatment programs for women offenders and of site visits to such programs.
Several program characteristics were found that pose obstacles to women's entry and successful involvement in treatment: absence of child care, especially among programs for both men and women; restrictive screening instruments that deny access to, for example, pregnant women and women with mental impairment; and needs assessment protocols that lack comprehensive standards, resulting in a failure to perceive women's needs and provide, or refer to, appropriate services. In order to effectively address the problems of drug abuse, drug- related health problems, and drug-related criminal activity among women, programs should move toward a system-oriented approach to service delivery that emphasizes linkage of criminal justice agencies, drug treatment programs, and social service agencies to arrange for the needed ancillary services that must complement drug treatment to promote lasting change. 3 tables and 27 references

Date Published: January 1, 1995